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Mileage Card - Pluses and Minuses

Aug 17, 2007
A mileage card can be both a bane and a boon. If you're someone who pays off the balance well in time, then a mileage card can well be your friend, but if you're not a big spender and don't have the financial resources to incur the finance charges created by not paying off your card balance, a mileage card can be quite a financial foe.

A mileage credit card is an asset to any dedicated flyer, if used correctly, no doubt. But the catch remains in the phrase "if used correctly." Just because you are earning extra miles for charges on your mileage cards does not necessarily mean you have the upper hand in this game. If you don't look closely, it just might be a more expensive proposition than you first anticipated.

What Is So Different About A Mileage Card?

A mileage card is one amongst the bewildering array of ways to earn, and spend, credit card rewards that savvy consumers are being offered these days. A mileage card will convert miles earned for purchases into hotel stays or restaurant meals. A mileage card also enables you to use these miles where you stay, and then earn extra miles yet again.

The Pros of Mileage Cards

What's a bigger plus to the spender than earning a travel dividend for money that has to be spent on purchases anyway? Did you know that business travelers get double miles if they charge their tickets with mileage cards? It does sound too good to overlook!

Especially when you have acknowledged that the priciest part of any major trip is airfare, you simply cannot ignore the thought of your routine toothpaste purchase bringing you closer to that African Safari that you've always dreamt of going on. Your mileage cards might just bring you a little closer to that dream.

Mileage Credit Card...It Can't Be All Good!

1) If you cannot afford to pay off the card balance every month then a mileage credit card is definitely not your best bet. The exorbitant rate of interest you would incur on your card balance would do nothing less than mortify you. Of all the major mileage cards, the lowest ongoing APR for mileage credit cards is around 17% and above.

2) Heard of blackout dates yet? If not, then you definitely aren't the informed mileage credit card owner that you thought you were. Blackout dates (which happen to be prevalent) typically fall on major holidays and are off-limits for redemption through your accumulated mileage.

3) Forget about splurging on a new extravagance on your mileage credit card to get 20,000 - 30,000 miles. There is a cap on many of the current mileage credit card offers, which does not allow you to accumulate more miles and reward points in a given period of time.

4) Since there is a time limit attached with most offers, make sure that you shop the expiration dates for accumulated mileage on your mileage credit card. A mileage credit card deal would really be futile if the miles begin to drop away just as you draw near to a free ticket.

5) The biggest drawback of mileage cards is the membership or annual fees. If the membership fees that you will have to pay exceed the potential rewards, then it's not worth the effort or your time to use the mileage credit card.

...And Finally

While entering the realm of mileage credit cards with the knowledge of what can go wrong, this should not to deter you from researching the various card offers and applying for a mileage card, if it is appropriate for your particular circumstances. There are many benefits attached to mileage credit cards so well, just make sure that you do your homework before applying!
About the Author
For more information on finding great mileage card offers, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com.
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